Statement by President Nasheed on the Eighth Anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami

Today I join all fellow Maldivians in remembering the victims who lost their lives in the devastating tsunami eight years ago. The tragedy wiped out entire communities, here and abroad, and caused incalculable destruction. That memory will always be with us, and my thoughts and prayers go out to all the bereaved families and those who are still recovering and trying to rebuild their lives.

As we honor the memory of those who died, I am also heartened by the unprecedented solidarity Maldivians displayed that day. From one island to the other as we looked out for one another, and in the enormous exchange of generosity of hearts, we saw that we could come together during tough times. In this unity, what bind us together are our common belief in Islam, individual responsibilities and rights, and our common future for a more just and prosperous society. In this unity, what bind us together are not virulent forms of nationalism and xenophobic attitudes.

The unparalleled humanitarian and reconstruction assistance from the global society to rebuild our lives and communities reminds us that in an increasingly shrinking world, we become ever more dependent on one another other. In this, it is inclusion, cooperation, and integration, not hatred and ultra-nationalism that make Maldives part of the global society.

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